Sunday, January 11, 2009

Greetings Gumbo YaYa Supporters,

Below you will find upcoming Sister Circle information. Please forward to Black women and girls you think may be interested in coming.

As with all circles, refreshments and child care are provided.
For more information, visit or

Jan. 18. “Brilliant Tomorrows: Sister(ing) as Communal Creative Performance”
Ebony Noelle Golden

Workshop Description- How are black women taught to sister? What are the some of the rites, rituals, and performances of sistering? How can we honor the space and practice of sistering? In this session, participants will engage in poetry, performance, music, and movement activities that help us create a vocabulary for active, present, and radical sistering.

The workshop is informed by the work and scholarship of Alice Coltrane, Romare Bearden, Ntozake Shange, Augosto Boal, Anna Deveare Smith, Nina Simone, Zora Neale Hurston, Soyini Madison, among others.

Jan. 25 “HandWork to HeartWork” Gourd Making & Percussion Connie Leeper

On the surface, this workshop is about music and gourd making. On a deeper level, it is more about connection…connection to ourselves, playfulness, imagination, culture, health and community. No experience necessary. Must be willing to be open, welcoming & ready to learn and teach. This workshop only requires that you bring your whole self into a process of intentional creativity.

Feb. 1 “Mother. Ourselves.” Alexis Pauline Gumbs & Zachari Curtis What happens when a life’s work stretches to include many lifetimes and multiple bodies? What models of communication allow those of us living in the flesh on this plane to access the imperatives of ancestors and the unborn? This exploration of the practice of spiritual daughterhood demonstrates and investigates radical connection as a calling and a strategy for healing and action.

Presented by three spiritual daughters of Durham visionary artist, educator and now ancestor Nayo Watkins, “Mother. Ourselves.” is both a performative tribute to Mama Nayo’s life and energy and a model for communication across the presumed limits of life itself. Mama Nayo understood the necessity of the creative process to radical political struggle and healing. This is how she lives with us now; reaching forward and back, moving away and drawing us together.

Time, distance, dis(ease), death, scarcity if asserted as essential, linear, terminal, logical, confine individuals and disrupt communication across seemingly impermeable barriers. What we know already is that we already have everything we need in order to reclaim, remember, revision ourselves, together, free. As Nayo put it, “You already know all you need to know… It’s in your bones.”

Feb. 8 “In The Beginning Was Her Word: Empowering Women One Story At A Time”

Dr. Anjail Rashida Ahmad

Over the millennia, women have held societies together word of mouth, hand to hand and vision by vision simply by the words issued from their tongues. The word or the power of one’s intention spoken into existence is the essence of who we are and can be a force that drives the unfolding of our life experiences. This speaking often takes the shape of stories both narrative and poetic. It’s the power of one’s own story articulated and shared that can have a most transforming effect throughout our societies both private and public.

In this workshop, Dr. Ahmad will lead us in uncovering the essence of the words lying at the bottom of our own hearts and use them to formulate our stories/poems/womanifestas-what desires to be spoken that has not yet been uttered.

Participants should bring a photograph of themselves preferably from the remote past. Use black and white if you have it or copy with a black and white copier. Together we will write autobiographically/biographically, herstorically inspired poems. Come prepared to be reaffirmed, to search-out the words and images, to gather and shape them and to share that which has the power to make us whole.

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